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Pete Buttigieg to visit Bloomington-Normal area | Govt-and-politics

STAFF REPORT

BLOOMINGTON — US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit the Bloomington-Normal area on Saturday, his office said Tuesday.

The visit, for which timing and location were not yet announced, is meant to highlight work that the transportation department is doing to make electric vehicles accessible to more Americans.

Those measures include launching a new Rural EV Toolkit and announcing infrastructure funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will benefit Illinois, the department said.

The Biden administration released its EV charging action plan Dec. 13, outlining the steps federal agencies are taking to boost infrastructure, manufacturing and consumer adoption.

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, signed into law in November, includes $5 billion in funding for states and a $2.5 billion competitive grant program for rural and disadvantaged communities to put the US “on the path” to a national network of 500,000 charging stations.

The Chicago Tribune contributed.

Inside Rivian’s test drive operation in Normal

Storage area is built into the rear seats of a Rivian R1T pickup on display at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck goes over the side of a 45-degree embankment on a test track at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The company’s First Mile event allowed government officials and other invited guests to test drive the first electric truck that was being released to customers on Monday.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck goes over the side of a 45 degree embankment on a test track at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The company’s First Mile event allowed government officials and other invited guests to test drive the first electric truck that was being released to customers on Monday.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

092821-blm-loc-20rivian pickup

A Rivian R1T pickup truck goes over the side of a 45-degree embankment on a test track at the Normal automotive plant, Sept. 26.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup is parked at the Normal plant on Sunday. Midwestern states are entering into an agreement to develop an electric vehicle infrastructure.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck is shown at the Normal plant. The company is expected to go public on Wednesday.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck was driven during the First Mile event at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The company’s First Mile event allowed government officials and other invited guests to test drive the first electric truck that was being released to customers on Monday.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck is ready for a test drive at an event at the normal plant.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A display on Sunday at the First Mile event at Rivian’s Normal plant shows different charging options.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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The storage tunnel on the Rivian R1T pickup truck goes through the body of the truck that was on display at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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What would be an engine compartment on a gasoline fueled pickup truck is a storage compartment of the Rivian R1T pickup truck that was on display at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A storage compartment under the bed of the Rivian R1T pickup truck allows for a full-size spare as the truck was on display at the First Mile event at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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The interior of the Rivian R1T pickup truck is filled with leather surfaces and glass cockpit instrumentation as it was displayed at the First Mile event at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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Those who purchase a Rivian R1T pickup truck can take delivery at a special customer delivery station that was built outside the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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The skateboard chassis of a Rivian R1T pickup is on display at the customer delivery office at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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The heart of the Rivian R1T pickup truck is the rechargeable battery pack, which is made up of hundreds of Samsung lithium ion batteries. The pack is on display at the customer delivery center at the Normal automotive plant, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup is driven Sunday on the Normal plant’s test track, which the factory opened to media and other officials. The “First Mile” event allowed invited guests to test drive the first electric truck that was being released to customers on Monday.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian employee on Sunday at the company’s normal plant makes popcorn on a pull-out kitchen that is an accessory for the R1T electric pickup truck.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck is on display at the company’s First Mile event at the Normal automotive plant on Sept. 27.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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A Rivian R1T pickup truck is driven on a 45-degree hill at the automaker’s factory in Normal on Sunday. “This is our first opportunity to let our customers and our pre-order holders test drive R1T for the first time, and to meet our team,” said Laura Schwab, vice president of sales and marketing.


DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH

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